NHS announces more Mental Health Support Teams for schools in Lancashire

Six new teams will come to Lancashire and South Cumbria, with half going to Preston and Chorley.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 5:17 pm

This week, the NHS has announced that a further 112 Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) will be introduced to schools across England by the end of March 2022, six of which will be in the Lancashire and South Cumbria Area.

Mental Health Support Teams provide early intervention on some mental health and emotional wellbeing issues, as well as helping staff within a school or college setting to provide a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing.

In the North West there are currently 35 team working across more than 350 educational settings, and this will rise to 50 by the end of 2021/22

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

112 new Mental Health Support Teams will work with schools across the UK, six in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Of the additional 15 just announced for the North West, six will be going to Lancashire and South Cumbria, which takes the area's total to 16.

One team will be distributed to Blackpool and Fyle, and Wyre each as part of wave 5, whilst in wave 6, which does not start until January 2022, three teams will go to Preston and Chorley, and one to West Lancs.

As Blackburn and Darwen, and East Lancs already have 4 Mental Health Support Teams each, whilst Morecambe Bay already has two, these new additions mean that every CCG in Lancashire and South Cumbria will now have an MHST, allowing all areas to expand more easily in the future.

David Keegan, Children and Young People Mental Health Support Team Lead for the North West said: “It is such a brilliant and exciting new workforce that has such a great deal of passion and enthusiasm for the people they are supporting. The MHSTs give great hope for the children and young people who are or may be affected by a mental health issue at present or in the future especially when it is being created at such a difficult time for CYP, schools and us all.”

Kelly Fairbrother, the student health and wellbeing officer for St Cuthbert’s High School in Rochdale, with Kate Thomas, a trainee Educational Mental Health Practitioner from Thrive in Education, who works with the school.

The extra 112 teams announced for England have been split on a fair share basis, and will increase coverage from 25% to 40% of the children and young people population.

Every team is made up from a new workforce of Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs), and in the North West there are now more than 100 new full trained EMHP staff with a further 32 due to complete their training in December 2021.

Dr David Levy, Regional Medical Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement North West said: “I am pleased that more Mental Health Support Teams will be supporting our young people, across the region.

“Encouraging positive mental health in formative years has been proven to lead to good mental health in adults, and better health outcomes for society as a whole.

“These dedicated teams will provide a crucial link between young people, schools and NHS services.”

The next two years allocated waves, for 2022/23 and 2023/24, will also take on the regional percentage allocation of the 112 increased MHST’s nationally this year.

The NHS have already announced that by the 2022/23 period, the North West will have 66 Mental Health Support Teams.